Original 17th Century Japanese Wakizashi Sword with Handmade Blade by SUKESADA Circa 1650-1680

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Wakizashi (脇差 "side inserted / companion sword") is a general term for a sword between one and two shaku long (30 cm and 60 cm), predominantly made after 1600. Generally it is the short blade that accompanies a katana in the traditional samurai daisho pairing of swords, but may be worn by classes other than the samurai as a single blade, also worn edge up as the katana.

This example has most likely been remounted several times, but it was definitely made as a Wakizashi, as the Mei (signature) is still clear on the blade tang (nakago), which has not been shortened. If a blade is shortened, it can only be done from the tang end, to preserve the tip of the blade (boshi). The characters marked are 祐 over 定 , which translates to SUKESADA. There were many smiths under this name, however we have identified this one as being from the approximate period 1650 to 1680.

The blade has the following period correct features:
- Folded steel blade (fold lines are evident on the spine and body of the blade)
- holes in the tang are punched and not drilled
- Signature on the tang

The Blade of this example is 17 3/4 inches long, and unfortunately saw much use and cleaning since the last polish. It has some staining, and removed light pitting, however the edge is still good. The tang is of the futsu style, with a "haagari" (asymmetrcally round) end, typical of 17th and 18th century blades. It also has a copper Habaki (blade collar) with a "heart-shaped" inlet, which is also typical of that period. Overall length of this wakizashi is 24 1/2 inches.

The simple tsuba (cross guard) is made of iron and is squared, with embossed decorations, and a cutout for the kogatana handle. The fuchi (collar) for the tsuka (handle) is iron.  It has matching menuki (grip decorations), and a nice copper Kashira (End Cap). The stingray (Sa-Me) grip with complete Ito (cloth binding) is worn, but still in good condition. The sword comes in a a well fitting black lacquer wooden scabbard (saya), which has a cutout for a kogatana knife, which is unfortunately absent.

The scabbard itself unfortunately has suffered damage over the years, and is partly split along one side, which has also caused the black lacquer to flake. It is missing the kurikata (knob) where the sageo (sword cord) would be attached. This however can usually be replaced.

A nice 17th century wakizashi, ready to display!

Blade Length: 17 3/4"
Overall length: 24 1/2“
Scabbard Length: "

It has been over one thousand years ago that the art of making swords appeared in Japan. The swordsmiths of the time may not have known it but they were creating a legendary sword. The Samurai sword has seen combat in many battlefields. From the early days of the Samurai warrior to the fierce battles in the South Pacific during WWII.

Each hand-made Samurai sword is unique because it is forged from multiple pieces of folded steel stock. A tremendous amount of work is dedicated to creating these pieces. They were an instrument of war as much as a beautiful artifact to adorn a room.

The Samurai sword has grown to be one of the most highly desired military antiques.

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